ELYTRA is a project about the beautiful and colorful appearance of various beetles. It is part of a larger project, COLEOPTERA. I’ve made 180 digital illustrations of species based on the research of real beetle families. This project was part of my residency program at Intercambiador, ACART in Madrid, Spain. (2016)
The elytra (sing. elytron) are a modified pair of wings that beetles have to protect their bodies and to cover the pair of soft wings. To fly, a beetle typically opens the elytra and then extends the hind wings, flying while still holding the elytra open. In a lot of species they are very colorful and sometimes iridescent. The color is caused by the scale-like layers in the epicutucule, which is the surface of the elytron.